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Toxic Success: How to Stop Striving and Start Thriving Hardcover – May 25, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Ocean Publishing; English Language edition (May 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930722095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930722095
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #793,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Clinical psychologist Paul Pearsall (The Heart's Code) believes success and how people define and pursue it can destroy personal health, ruin marriages and create feelings of loneliness and isolation. He criticizes the instinct for executives and soccer moms alike to "multitask," and in Toxic Success: How to Stop Striving and Start Thriving, he teaches readers to find happiness in the "now." Pearsall's "Sweet Success" approach emphasizes shared, collective values (rather than a "me-first" attitude) and reminds people that money does not equal happiness. Workaholics and those who have difficulty knowing when to say when will find much useful advice in this intelligent book.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This is definitely a very life-affirming and eye opening book.
Brian, the reader extraordinaire
Relative to other books of its genre, this book is unique in its content and a pinnacle of achievement toward creating happiness... All via well supported arguments.
T. McVeigh
It really helps downshift from the "getting more done all the time" frame of mind I was in to a more happy, connected, at peace with my self point of view.
Neda L. Safa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Charleson on June 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is about living in the moment and is based on Hawaiian philosophy. It gives many comments from cancer victims, and what they say about what they would do over if given the chance, versus those with Toxic Success Syndrome (TSS) who feel increasingly dissatisfied with life. Those comparisons were very informative, as were the many useful hints and suggestions. The approach to a more value-based, collective philosophy was very appealing.

I appreciated that the book has lots of references. But, I wondered why the author doesn't seem cite his own publications based on his "10-year study of TSS".

Ultimately, at 309 pages, I found the book too long and repetitive. The author says that this is a product of his Hawaiian philosophy and that anyone bothered by it is suffering from "denial of Toxic Success Syndrome" (pg. 222). For me, this was like being taken to a huge feast and then being told I had to eat the whole thing myself in order to avoid starvation.

Further, the author's defensiveness about this seemed contradictory to his Hawaiian philosophy (e.g. pg. 279). Similarly, his criticism of those with TSS as being unable to filter out "every bit of information" (pg. 58) seems to exemplify his own excessive length. He couldn't avoid telling us everything he knows.

Overall, I couldn't decide whether these lapses were due to poor editing, or whether the author hasn't truly incorporated the ideals he espouses. This left me feeling uncomfortable in ways that others, like Ram Dass, Deepak Chopra, and Thomas Moore do not.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David Enzel VINE VOICE on December 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because I had read in a magazine that Dr. Pearsall talks about the dangers of "multi-tasking" -- a very common trait. The book certainly speaks persuasively against multi-tasking and in favor of living in the moment. The book is in line with other books that suggest that it is time to "wake up and smell the roses." Dr. Pearsall suggests that instead of occupying our minds by thinking about moving mountains we could instead -- when we come upon a mountain -- notice what a magnificient mounntain it is and sit down and enjoy it with someone we love. Why climb Mount Everest? What is the point? Why not simply accept its majesty? It also talks about the importance of saying no -- even to close friends to keep from overdoing it. This is a very thoughtful book by a very caring man and has the potential to help many "over-achievers" discover what is most important to them.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a brilliant book that weaves psychological research, Hawaiian philosophy, and moving anecdotes into a compelling treatise on the meaning of success. I recognized myself (and most of my friends and colleagues, for that matter!) in so many of his descriptions of toxic success. I've only been "detoxing" for a few months but I already feel like a new woman. If you've accomplished a lot but lack the sense of fulfillment you thought success would bring, or if you'd just like a new perspective on life, I urge you to buy this book!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brian, the reader extraordinaire on December 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was lucky enough to be awarded a trip to Hawaii through my company this year. On the second day of the trip Paul Pearsall (the author) spoke to our group and he forever opened my eyes to the really important things in life. The rest of the trip was better than I ever thought it could have been. I bought his book through my phone (Amazon), and it was waiting for me when I arrived back home.
This is definitely a very life-affirming and eye opening book. Dr. Pearsall will show you many things which have the effect of changing the way you view the world and live in it. His book is firmly grounded in the philosophy and beliefs of the Hawaiian culture. This is not a self-help, "you can do it" "rah-rah-rah" book. This is a real book, of real substance.
I recommend this book for anyone who wants to live a longer, fuller, and more meaningful life. Dr. Pearsall will show you how to be content, calm down, and connect always.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By John on May 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I first read Paul Pearsall's, "The Heart's Code" and gave several copies to my friends. I finished "Toxic Success" last week and ordered 15 copies today. This book describes both me and my friends but also enables us to "change" the description if we so desire. All my friends prefer "Sweet Success" over "Toxic Success" and this book helps us to get there!
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